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Report: Lithium Energy Japan to Build New Factory to Meet Higher Output Targets for i MiEV

The Nikkei reports that Lithium Energy Japan (LEJ), the joint venture between GS Yuasa Corp., Mitsubishi Corp. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. (earlier post), will soon begin construction on its factory in Kusatsu, Shiga Prefecture. The plant is slated to go online to coincide with next April’s start of production of Mitsubishi Motors’ i MiEV plug-in electric car.

The plant will initially produce about 1 million palm-size lithium ion cells a year—enough for 10,000 vehicles. An additional investment of more than 10 billion yen is planned by 2012, adding a second plant and doubling output.

Lithium Energy Japan had initially intended to make batteries for the equivalent of 2,000 vehicles a year at GS Yuasa’s main plant, in Kyoto, for a wide range of customers. But Mitsubishi Motors then raised its output target for the i MiEV in response to higher demand, prompting the venture to build a separate plant to supply the automaker.

In June, LEJ also reached a basic agreement with PSA Peugeot Citroën in June to supply the automaker. (Earlier post.)

Comments

tom deplume

I thought the i MiEV was a pure EV?

critta

It is a pure EV.

You've got to admire Mitsubishi for just getting on with the job instead of continually patting themselves on the back while doing very little like others I won't name.

John Taylor

OK so now we have a world production capacity of 12,000 iMiev cars, and a planned increase to 22,000 units.

This is a fine start, and we can expect the works to sell out as soon as the product hits showrooms.

gr

This car should do well in Japan and Europe. Won't do well in NA due to resistance to size and safety concerns. The recharge time Mitsubishi publishes is 12 hours at 120V 15A or 6 hours at 220V. Good to see at least one Japanese company gamely pressing electrification forward.

clett

It will be interesting to see what Peugeot come up with for sale too.

John Taylor

12 hours at 120V 15A
6 hours at 220V 15A
1 hour at 220V 90A
20 minutes at 220V 90A 3ph

The required service for public recharge is 220V, 100A, 3ph. This type of recharge power is quite reasonable to expect, and to use. It would be like plugging in a stove or Dryer.

Even with a slow recharge and tiny size, the iMiev is still a useful viable car, even in North America.

clett

As a rule of thumb, assuming a 5 mile per kWh car, the charger power you need is:

1 mile range per minute charging: 12 kW
5 miles range per minute charging: 60 kW
10 miles range per minute charging: 120 kW
20 miles range per minute charging: 240 kW

Personally, I'd be quite content stopping for 15 minutes to recharge every 150 miles.

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